I’m going to preface this with: This has been my favorite “meaningful” read this year. I adore this book. I checked it out from the library, but at some point I would love to own my own copy…It’s that awesome. Sue Monk Kidd wrote The Secret Life of Bees which was amazing, however I was less impressed with The Mermaid Chair. In my opinion, this story blew both of them out of the water (but I’m slightly biased because I’m a sucker for a moving historical fiction about the abolition of slavery/women’s rights).
The Invention of Wings, tells the story from two different character’s perspectives as they grow from children into the women they are meant to be. Hettie, a slave girl also called Handful, for all of the mischief she causes and Sarah, the girl who is given Hettie as a “present” (although Sarah, as you’ll learn, despises slavery very much to her privileged family’s disapproval). These characters work wonderfully together throughout the story. They are vastly different, in circumstance and personality, and even though they are an odd combination and not quite “friends,” they compliment each other in so many ways.
The story follows the girls through both of their difficult lives, one being a slave and the other supporting the abolition of slavery in a very pro-slavery nation. The girls develop into women, but Kidd does a wonderful job of showing the reader real life difficulties and personal conflicts still relevant today through these transformations.
All in all, I LOVE this book……..
I’ve been reading the Maze Runner series by James Dashner lately. I saw a preview for the movie when I went to Divergent (which was A-Mazing!) and knew I had to read the series before I’d allow myself to even think about going to the theatre. (The kid from Game of Thrones is in it, so it must be good, right?)
I finished Maze Runner in a day/night. I couldn’t stop reading it. Why were these kids stuck in a place with no conceivable way out except through a dangerous maze? Why didn’t they have their memories? Why was there now a girl in a previously all boys place? Basically I kept reading to find answers to all the questions, which honestly just lead to more questions….but I liked it.
Thomas, our main character, is a hero. He’s super smart, strong, and a born leader with a bit of a reckless streak. I do enjoy the other prominent characters in the series too, they all have very unique personalities. (I won’t go into details though because I don’t want to spoil Maze Runner for anyone.)
So here’s the gist of Maze Runner:
This group of kids is stuck in a maze where if they leave the center of it, the Glade, and don’t get back before the walls close them in at night, bad “things,” called Grievers, will kill them. Otherwise, if they stay in the Glade they get weekly supplies and have a system set up where different people work different parts of the Glade. Pretty nice right? This is all great until the girl shows up and their normal routine goes down the tube. Oh yeah, and everyone in the Glade has had their memory wiped…
We see everything from Thomas’s view and Thomas is full of questions. Fueled along by Thomas’s curiosity, this story flew by for me….and ended with more questions. So I hurried and got the second book in the series, The Scorch Trials, which also ended with more…yes, you got it, questions. However, I’m hooked and I desperately need the third book!
I was excited to learn about the Kindle First program through Amazon which I received this eBook through, because it is a really cool idea. Give a try if you haven’t yet.
Timebound was an OK read for me. I was immediately drawn to the promise of time travel and the lure of a love story (and, yes, the gorgeous cover!). However, in actuality they didn’t wow me. The time travel aspect was a bit hard for me to follow and there were parts that just didn’t feel/flow right. If I had felt more ambitious, I would have liked to have gone back and picked it apart to make sure it was all “correct”, but alas, I’m a bit short on time at the moment.
The love story aspect… I don’t know, it wasn’t my favorite either. The relationship developed too quickly and I was rooting for the wrong team apparently…blurgh. I’m not attracted at all to the guy our character is crazy for. But it wasn’t a bad read. The story held my attention and it certainly was unique. So, again, it was ok…I will most likely read the next one just to see how things play out, but it won’t be a high priority read.
I am sooo excited to read them, you have no idea! I’ve seen good things around the blogosphere 🙂
I also received this ARC through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program:
Top Ten Tuesday
Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish
Well I will be off in library school all of 2014, well mentally anyway as it’s an all online program, but I will need fictional worlds to keep my sanity. So these are the books I am looking forward to the most this upcoming year:
Mixed emotions..this is the final book in the series right? So my fictional boyfriend is just leaving me…not fair! But I can’t wait to read it! And it’s released the day before my birthday!!
Cress by Marissa Meyer-Feb. 4
I should probably take the day off work when this comes out…
The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla: A Pink Carnation Novel by Lauren Willig- Aug. 5
Every time a book by the lovely Lauren Willig comes out, I feel like I’m getting an early Christmas gift 🙂
That Summer by Lauren Willig
….and I get two by her again this year!!! Lucky me !
Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl-May 20
I didn’t even know this was coming out until today…and now I don’t know what to do with myself. I. Love. Casters.
The Blood Of Olympus by Rick Riordan-Oct. 7
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo-June 3
Again…I may need to use some PTO…or become mysteriously ill…when this arrives.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs-Today!
Great first book, excited for this one.
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness-July 15
So I despised the 2nd book. Ugh, so much, I was just bored out of my mind. But I’m hoping this conclusion can redeem itself.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor-April 8
Again, I couldn’t stand the second book in this series, but I hope this one is much better.
Thoughts, feelings, additions???
I was a bit skeptical about this as Harry Potter was big in my day, so would it still create excitement now with youth? Apparently so…
For this event we got sorted into our Houses, created our very own golden Snitch, Transformed into owls, went to Potion’s class, made a witchy treat, and had couple of props for photo ops. And we all had a blast. And most surprising to me was that the boys outnumbered the girls…which NEVER happens!
For the sorting I found a great printout for (what I considered badges) at My Cotton Creations and after cutting them out just stuck them in a witch’s hat and had the kids pull out their House for the night. They were excited they got to wear the badges and it made everyone feel involved because EVERYONE wanted to know who was in their House.
After we were sorted and settled we began our Snitch making (See example in above picture). For this project all that was needed were:
- Small Styrofoam Balls
- Gold Glitter
- Gold Glitter Glue
- Long White Feathers
- Mod Podge
- Paint Brushes
(Covering all tables to be used for the event with old newspaper is major clean-up time-saver too! And if you can get some volunteers to do it…Even better)
So first we poked holes in two opposite ends of our Styrofoam balls where our feathers would eventually go and then coated the whole thing in some Mod Podge. Then things got a little (well more than a little..) messy and we covered our Snitches in gold glitter. After that we put a squirt of gold glitter glue in our previously made holes, and stuck in our feathers. And there you have it…magnificent Snitches!
We left our Snitches to dry for a bit and moved on to Transformation class! For our transformations into owls we decorated some eye masks. For this project the following materials are what I used, however, the possibilities are endless:
- A few packages of Eye Masks (they are 5 for a $1 at the Dollar Store)
- Colorful Feathers (again tons of options at the Dollar Store)
- Puff Balls
- Glue/Glue Dots
This one’s pretty self explanatory…just let the kid’s creativity go crazy and they will come up with a great “owl” mask.
After our Transformation we headed over to Potions. The following items are needed for this interactive experiment (Also, it’s nontoxic if anyone happens to get the urge to try the potions…which WILL happen):
- Tonic Water
- Different Colors/Flavors of Kool-Aid
- Lots of Clear Plastic Cups
- Solid Colored Plastic Cups
For this project, myself and a volunteer had prepared our magical potions beforehand. All the “magical potion” requires is mixing a bit of the Kool Aid flavoring in with enough sugar so that the color of the Kool Aid can’t be seen in the solid colored plastic cups. (It will take quite a lot of sugar in comparison to the Kool Aid.) Then we also filled up our clear plastic cups with the bubbly tonic water.
When the “students” arrived all they saw were cups that were apparently all white powder and then clear bubbly cups. They each took a cup of magic potion and a cup of bubbly water and then spooned in a bit of their potion. I didn’t know if this would go over because it was so simple, but they all seemed to enjoy it…a lot. Then they all began exchanging potions to see what would happen and of course they ended up turning different colors which was pretty cool too and not something I would have thought of. Of course everyone started to sneak in quick tastes of their potions so luckily nothing bad was in it.
After everyone was done with mixing their potions (and washing their hands) we moved on to creating our own snacks. Witch hats made out of Fudge Stripe cookies. I found this idea on Go Grow Go! They were simple for the kiddos to make and were verrry tasty!
- Fudge Stripe Cookies
- Orange Frosting
- Hershey Kisses
So each kid got a napkin with a cookie on it and a Kiss to unwrap, while an adult went around with the frosting. The frosting just got squirted on top of the bottom of the cookie and then the Kiss gets planted on top. Then they were ready to be eaten!
There were also a couple of photo props like the one below which I just handmade myself. The kids had fun taking pictures of themselves with their phones and I had some fun some with it too!
Well the New Year’s reading has not started off with a promising start…but it can only get better from here then right?
I decided to try a historical fiction novel, Confessions of Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey which I received from LibraryThing’s wonderful Early Reviewer’s Program. My mind needed a break from the Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter world I was immersed in for two weeks and for which my heart still misses. (I will post a review of the Infernal Devices Series once school has started back up again : )
This historical fiction story just couldn’t capture my attention. I read about 80 pages before calling it quits, which I DESPISE doing. (However, I guess I do already know how it’s going to end…) There may have been a couple exterior factors affecting why I didn’t enjoy the book like I didn’t realize it was the third book in a trilogy and I was still on a major book hangover from the Infernal Devices trilogy. Nonetheless, I did not feel any sort of connection to the characters and it felt more like I was reading nonfiction than fiction. Perhaps reading the first two books in the series would provide the reader with necessary background information and giver more depth to the characters.
Well on to finishing the Matched series by Ally Condie…let’s see how this goes!
Are there any cool Reading Challenges going on this year? I would really like to do one besides the Goodreads one I participate in every year…. Let me know!
Top Ten Books of 2013
Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish
I read so many wonderful books this year it was hard to pick just 10..but here ya go:
Cinder/Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (YA Fantasy/Fairiytale)
I expect these are many, many lists this year. They’re amazing and Marissa Meyer is wonderful 🙂
Shadow and Bone/Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (YA Fantasy)
So addictive. I didn’t sleep the few nights it took to read these. I just had to Keep. Reading.
The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig (Adult Historical Fiction/Romance)
I love Lauren Willig. Every time a new bok by her comes out, it feels like Christmas and I know I’m in for a special treat. I always try to make the books last a week, but end up staying up all night and finishing them in a couple days…
Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Junior Fiction)
Everyone must read this book! Haven’t reviewed it yet, but it’s A-Mazing! Forces readers to look at how they treat people and will most likely make you a better person for reading it…
Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare (Review to come…I’m still recovering from the emotional rollercoaster (YA Fantasy)
Started and finished this trilogy over my Holiday break…and I am still an emotional wreck because of it…In a good way. I am in love with Clare’s writing! Please write faster Ms. Clare !!!
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (Junior Fiction)
Like Willig, with Riordan every book is a treat and this was no exception. I used reading a chapter of this book as a reward system for writing a page of my school papers… It was such an epic story!
The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde (Adult Fiction Fantasy)
I love this series and frankly, I don’t think I will ever get tired of Thursday Next. This one was the most hilarious out of all of them for me so far. I quote from it daily….
The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver (YA Fiction Dystopian)
I loved this trilogy…and the ending was much better for me than the Divergent trilogy. It focused more on feelings than actions, but I love the way that Oliver writes.
Fearless by Cornelia Funke (YA Fantasy/Fairytale)
Cornelia Funke is spectacular. This book (2nd in a series) is haunting and exciting, yet beautiful. I love the worlds that Funke can transport me to.
The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (JF Fantasy)
Great action packed series! I love the world it’s set in and the characters are awesome…wish the third book would hurry up though 🙂
There you have it. My top 10 for 2013. Any of the same? Strongly disagree with some??
Finally done with my first semester of library school and while it was super interesting it was also super time consuming. However, I did manage to read a couple books…in three months! It was quite a change from my typical two books a week consumption.
However, The House of Hades by Riordan simply could not wait. It was epic and I rewarded myself with a couple chapters a night (which may have turned into read until 4 in the morning, but who cares…it is soo good!)
I also read Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and while it wasn’t as spectacular as I thought it would be (bit of a slow start), it still got me hooked on the storyline.
And there was Wonder R.J Palacio. Now if there was one book I could force all kids in school to read; it would be this one. It makes everyone, not just kids, stop and think about how they are treating people and why. Is it because they look different than you? Speak different? Dress different? Fantastic book…Go read it!
I also recently finished Allegiant by Roth…and I was disappointed. It may have had to do with my finals state of mind, but…it wasn’t my kind of series ending. Kudos to Roth though for writing what she wants no matter what others will think…I do admire her and I know many people are probably very happy with this final book.
Now, I’ve been on break (school and work!!!) for a couple days and I finished a cute sequel How Mrs. Clause Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn and just started the Clockwork series by Cassandra Clare. I’m hoping to get enough books read and reviews written ahead of time to last me through next semester so I can sit back and enjoy all of your lovely blogs while cramming library stuff in my brain…. 🙂
Got any reading suggestions? I have until January 21st until school starts!!
Yes, I am alive and no, I am not abandoning the blogosphere…I’ve just been a bit (ok, extremely) busy with school. Gross, right? Well I have read some amazing books lately though to keep myself sane including; Wonder by R.J. Palacio, House of Hades by Rick Riordan, and Bone Season by Samantha Shannon along with having some pretty great library programs (Harry Potter Halloween Party? I think so!). But, for this post I will stick to a review of the House of Hades by Riordan…because it was epic!
I believe I would feel empty if I had not discovered the Percy Jackson/Lost Heroes books or if Riordan had decided not to write them. They are so packed full of adventure, wit, and information about mythology that I don’t even realize I’ve retained multiple facts about different myths (until I blurt them out over dinner a month later trying to make small talk and end up looking like a huge nerd, but that’s another story…).
The book before House of Hades in the Lost Heroes series, Mark of Athena, ends with a terrible cliffhanger (and I mean so bad I told people not to read it until this book came out) and thankfully we pick up right where we left off, no waiting around involved. The action doesn’t let up in this book…at all, and I had a very hard time getting my homework done on time. In this story Annabeth and Percy are off on their own looking for a way out of Tartarus running into old enemies and making unlikely friends. I enjoyed getting the chance to see how their relationship has grown and how differently they interact with each other now.
While Annabeth and Percy are off on their seemingly hopeless adventure, the rest of the Lost Heroes crew is working to get to the House of Hades to open the door from Tartarus so if Annabeth and Percy find the way out, they will be able to come out on friendly territory in the land of the living. However, of course, Gaea doesn’t make it easy for the crew to reach the House of Hades. We get a good look at every hero in this story as they are each forced to prove themselves to their godly parents.
Of course once you finish this book, you will be begging for the next in the series….
I guess The Sea of Monsters DVD will have to suffice until then. Do any of you know if it is any good?